CAIRO – Premier League Muslim superstar Yaya Toure has turned down a “man-of-the-match” alcohol bottle prize for being banned under his Islamic faith.
“I don’t drink because I am a Muslim,” Toure said.
The Manchester City midfielder was chosen the man of the match in his encounter with Newcastle United.
Toure, a Muslim from Ivory Coast, scored twice in team’s 2-0 win against his Premier League rival.
Being presented with a large alcohol prize, the Muslim player turned to his teammate Joleon Lescott to give it to him.
“So you keep it,” he told Lescott.
The win brought Manchester City closer to win a first Premier League title in 44 years.
“I am very happy because it was important to help the team to win this game,” Toure said.
“For me, the most important thing now is to keep going, keep working hard and try to win next week.”
Islam takes an uncompromising stand in prohibiting intoxicants. It forbids Muslims from drinking or even selling alcohol.
The general rule in Islam is that any beverage that gets people intoxicated when taken is unlawful, both in small and large quantities, whether it is alcohol, drugs, fermented raisin drink or something else.
Toure, named by Eurosport in 2005 as one of the most promising young players in the world, is one of the Premier League’s superstars.
Gifted in holding and protecting the ball, he excels also in long, short and direct passes.
In difficult situations, Toure is distinguished by his ability to make forward runs, earning him the nickname “box-to-box” player.
He had previously played for Spain’s giant FC Barcelona.
From the first moment of joining FC Barcelona, he made no secret about his religion, insisting there was no contradiction between being a successful footballer and a devout Muslim.